Posted by Murrisk on April 07, 2001 at 18:49:13:
The town of Mons is located in southwest Belgium, a short distance south of Waterloo(June 18, 1815) and east of Landen where Sarsfield died (July 29,1693). Other famous batle sites in the blood soaked area of the world include Crecy (August 26, 1346)and Agincourt(October 25, 1415)both significant battles of the 100 years war and both won by English longbows, something that was to "reappear" at the battle of Mons. Boulogne, where Niall of the Nine Hostages met his death in AD 405 is also nearby, as are Dunkirk and Ypres, where Maj. John McCrea wrote the famous poem "In Flander's Fields" in May 1915. In the 1350's, the citizens of Mons bought a condemned criminal from a nearby town so that they could have the pleasure of seeing him quartered.
'In Mar's favourite month of August', the British Expeditionary Force, under the command of Sir. John French who would later serve as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland during the War of Independence, landed in France (August 14, 1914). On August 22-23, 1914, the BEF along with divisions of the French army and the remnants of the Belgian army engaged the German army at Mons. The Germans won the battle and the BEF retreated to the Marne. The commander of the British cavalry was Sir Edmund Allenby who would later command the Palestine front and capture Beersheba, Gaza, Jerusalem and Damascus from the Turks - names that still ring with conflict today. The legend of the angels of Mons began to circulate in September 1914. Supposedly, in the heat of battle, British soldiers cried out to St. George to send the bowmen from Agincourt to destroy the Germans with invisible arrows and there were reports of German bodies with puncture wounds which only arrows could have made. The legnds actually grew out of of a short story written by Arthur Machen (a writer of the occult) and published in the London Evening Standard in September 1914. When Machen pointed out that it was just a story he was denounced by many who wanted heaven to be on England's side !!
Mons Terrace, Castlebar, was named for this battle.
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